My First Thanksgiving Home

11.23.16 By Alicia Maule

John Nolley on his first day of freedom. Photo by Ron Jenkins

John Nolley on his first day of freedom. Photo by Ron Jenkins

For several Innocence Project clients, this will be their first Thanksgiving free and home from prison. Take a look at what John Nolley, Timothy Bridges, Andre Hatchett, Anthony Wright, Darryl Howard, Kevin Siehl, Dion Harrell and Keith Harward are looking forward to eating on Nov. 24 in the company of loved ones.

John Nolley: My first Thanksgiving home in 20 years

“I look forward to the turkey, dressing, and buttermilk pie. Knowing that this is my first Thanksgiving of freedom, I am filled with love and gratitude to the Innocence Project!” Learn more about John who is a forklift driver, father, and grandfather whose quest for full exoneration is still pending in Texas, here

Timothy Bridges: My first Thanksgiving home in 25 years


Photo by RossNYC

 “I can’t wait for the stuffing, and turkey gravy is my favorite. My grandma isn’t alive anymore, but she made her own fruit cocktail cake. It was her own recipe which she won Blue Ribbons for.” Learn more about Timothy who likes to go fishing and recently rescued Hobo, a Pit Bull Terrier, here

Andre Hatchett: My first Thanksgiving home in 25 years


Photo by Sameer Abdel-Khalek.

“My favorite is turkey, sweet potato pie, collard greens, black eyed peas, and cranberry sauce — good soul food! It means everything to me for this to be my first Thanksgiving home. I’ve missed a lot of them.” Learn more about Andre who recently turned 50 and voted for the first time, here

Anthony Wright: My first Thanksgiving home in 28 years


Anthony Wright with his grandchildren and daughter-in-law. Photo by Kevin Monko.

“I can’t wait for the turkey, the stuffing, the biscuits, the sweet potato pie and the carrot cake. I don’t know if anyone is more thankful for their family than me. They stuck by me through everything. This Thanksgiving I can’t wait because my grandmother is turning 91, so we’ll celebrate that. I haven’t been there in 25 years, and my aunt said ‘you better be at home.'” Learn more about Anthony who is an assistant clerk at the 3rd Circuit Federal Court in his hometown of Philadelphia and a huge sports fan, here.

Darryl Howard: My first Thanksgiving home in 20 years


Darryl Howard with his wife Nannie at their home in North Carolina. Photo by Sameer Abdel-Khalek.


“I like turkey. My favorite dessert is anything with strawberries or anything with pineapples.” Learn more about Darryl, who has 11 grandchildren and is a diehard North Carolina Tar Heels basketball fan, here.

Kevin Siehl: My first Thanksgiving home in 26 years

Kevin Siehl

Courtesy of Kevin Siehl.


“I’m looking forward to a real turkey dinner. And to sit down with good people, have a real meal at a real table and to talk.” Learn more about Kevin who was just exonerated in October with the help of Lisa Freeland and her team at the Federal Public Defender’s office in Pittsburgh, here

Dion Harrell: My first Thanksgiving exonerated in 20 years


Photo by Sameer Abdel-Kalek.


“On Thanksgiving I’ll have dinner with my family and eat whatever they throw on the table. I have no food favoritism. Thanksgiving is just another day.” Learn more about Dion who loves to eat, here

Keith Harward: My first Thanksgiving home in over 33 years


Keith Harward with Director of Intake & Evaluation Olga Akselrod and her son Sammy.


“My favorite meal is food — it doesn’t matter. At this point in my life — since I’ve gone without — everything is wonderful if road kill or deer steak. Even if it’s burnt, uncooked or undone it will be wonderful — I will not be disappointed.” Learn more about Keith, whose tattoo broke the internet and loves to watch squirrels in the park, here.

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Gina McGrory December 3, 2016 at 4:01 pm Reply   

I pray for those innocents still behind bars!
I pray for our government to do something about this injustice ! Thank God for DNA ! Thank God for Barry Shick and his team working tirelessly to free those that are innocent!!
Have a wonderful Christmas with your families !! You deserve so much !!!

Linda Beckman November 25, 2016 at 11:02 pm Reply   

I’m so grateful that you’ve been rescued. May you enjoy your future and loved ones!

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